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Monday, May 20, 2024
Student Government SG Generic
Student Government SG Generic

After anti-Muslim graffiti was found inside an on-campus bathroom Thursday, the UF Student Government Judiciary Committee passed two resolutions condemning hate — while defending free speech.

The resolutions addressed instances such as racist writing on Anderson Hall chalkboards and a man wearing a swastika on Turlington Plaza. Resolutions state the Student Senate’s stance but don’t require action. The committee passed both unanimously Sunday, and Senate will vote on them Tuesday.

The committee also passed a resolution sending condolences to the families of two UF students who died in a car accident during Spring Break.

Sen. Yael Diamond (Impact, Springs) co-authored a resolution with Sens. Wallace Mazon (Impact, District E) and Nicolas LoMurro (Impact, Hume) stating the university “has been a victim of several incidents of racially triggered events.”

The resolution states the “acts of hatred will not (be) tolerated at this institution.”

“We wanted to make sure that the students and the university knew the Senate’s position on these issues,” Diamond said.

Sen. Brett Oehrle (Impact, District B) authored the resolution stating Senate condemns hate speech but defends people’s First Amendment rights and supports open dialogue among students.

Oehrle said his resolution focuses more on hate speech rather than condemning specific acts. His resolution encourages students to take advantage of campus services such as U Matter, We Care.

“We want our students to feel safe and accepted on campus regardless of any and all identities,” he said.

Lauren Kirkley, 18, said hate speech is unacceptable, and although people have the right to free speech, others have the right to protest.

She said she hopes senators take a stance on the offensive acts.

“If the Student Government doesn’t recognize these issues, there’s a problem,” the UF political science freshman said.

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Contact Paige Fry at pfry@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @paigexfry

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